Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Stewart

Supreme Court of Montana

February 21, 2017

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
JAMES MICHAEL STEWART, Defendant and Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: January 4, 2017

         District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DC 13-635 Honorable Mary Jane Knisely, Presiding Judge

          For Appellant Chad Wright, Chief Appellate Defender, Alexander H. Pyle, Assistant Appellate Defender, Helena, Montana

          For Appellee Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General, Jonathan M. Krauss, Assistant Attorney General, Helena, Montana Scott D. Twito, Yellowstone County Attorney, Robert S. Spoja, Deputy County Attorney, Billings, Montana

          Jim Rice Justice

         ¶1 James Michael Stewart (Stewart) appeals the order entered by the Thirteenth Judicial District Court, Yellowstone County, denying his Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Speedy Trial. We affirm and restate the issue on appeal.

         Did the District Court err by denying Stewart's speedy trial motion?

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶2 After leading officers on a high-speed chase, Stewart was arrested on August 3, 2013, in Yellowstone County, and charged with Criminal Endangerment, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, Operation of a Motor Vehicle by a Person with Alcohol Concentration of 0.08% or more, Fleeing from or Eluding a Peace Officer, and Driving While Privilege to do so is Suspended or Revoked. He posted bond on August 6, 2013, and was released.

         ¶3 Nine days later, Stewart was arrested on a warrant issued by Silver Bow County, where he was charged with Partner or Family Member Assault (PFMA). Stewart could not obtain bail, and was detained in the Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center during that proceeding. Thus, Stewart's Silver Bow County case proceeded simultaneously with his Yellowstone County case. The timelines of these two cases intersect and, while this appeal concerns the Yellowstone County case, it is necessary to consider relevant events from both cases.[1] The table below summarizes the key events in both cases leading to his motion to dismiss his Yellowstone County charges for lack of speedy trial:

Date

County

Event/Action

Aug. 3, 2013

Yellowstone

Stewart arrested in Yellowstone County

Aug. 6, 2013

Yellowstone

Stewart released on bond

Aug. 15, 2013 (9:35 am)

Yellowstone

Stewart arraigned; Plead not guilty; First trial date set for Feb. 12, 2014

Aug. 15, 2013 (8:12 pm)

Silver Bow

Stewart arrested on Silver Bow County warrant for PFMA

Aug. 15, 2013-Jan. 8, 2014

Silver Bow

Detained in Butte-Silver Bow County Detention Center; Charged; Arraigned; Trial set for Jan. 21, 2014; Denial of Motion to be Released on Own Recognizance; Omnibus hearing

Jan. 8, 2014

Silver Bow

Letter from Stewart complaining about his public defender and complementing Yellowstone County on efficiently handling his case there

Jan. 23, 2014

Silver Bow

Stewart enters guilty plea to PFMA (would later move to withdraw this plea)

Jan. 23, 2014- Nov. 19, 2015

Silver Bow

Before sentencing occurred on Nov. 19, 2015, Stewart filed numerous pleadings regarding withdrawal of his guilty plea, habeas corpus, and complaints about counsel

Jan. 27, 2014

Yellowstone

Stewart files Motion to Continue Trial

Jan. 31, 2014

Yellowstone

Stewart files Waiver of Speedy Trial

Jan. 31, 2014

Yellowstone

Order Resetting Trial for May 5, 2014

May 6, 2014

Yellowstone

Stewart files Motion to Continue Trial

May 16, 2014

Yellowstone

Stewart files Waiver of Speedy Trial

May 30, 2014

Yellowstone

Order Resetting Trial for Sept. 16, 2014

Sept. 3-5, 2014

Yellowstone

State and Stewart file separate Status Reports requesting a jury not be assembled

Nov. 7, 2014

Yellowstone

State files Motion to Transfer Defendant

Nov. 7, 2014

Yellowstone

Order Granting State's Motion to Transfer Defendant

Nov. 13, 2014

Yellowstone

Order Resetting Trial for Mar. 2, 2015

Jan. 22, 2015

Yellowstone

Stewart files Motion for Substitution of Judge, granted

Mar. 3, 2015

Yellowstone

Order Resetting Trial for Apr. 20, 2015

Mar. 12, 2015

Yellowstone

Stewart files Speedy Trial motion

Mar. 17, 2015

Yellowstone

Stewart writes complaining of counsel; Order Setting Finley Hearing for Apr. 6, 2015

Mar. 27, 2015

Yellowstone

Extension of time granted until Apr. 7, 2015

Mar. 30, 2015

Yellowstone

Order Resetting Hearing for Apr. 13, 2015

Apr. 13, 2015

Yellowstone

Finley Hearing held; Stewart stated he was satisfied with counsel

Apr. 17, 2015

Yellowstone

Order denying Stewart's speedy trial motion

Apr. 20-21, 2015

Yellowstone

Jury trial; Stewart found guilty of two charges

         ¶4 In response to Stewart's speedy trial motion, the Yellowstone County District Court determined that the Yellowstone County proceeding began on August 3, 2013, when Stewart was arrested, and ended for purposes of the speedy trial clock on April 20, 2015, when Stewart's Yellowstone County trial commenced. The District Court thus determined that a total of 626[2] days had passed between the two dates, which the District Court divided and attributed as follows:

Beginning Event, Date

Ending Event, Date

Length of Delay

Party Responsible for Delay and Reason for Delay

Arrest Aug. 3, 2013

First trial date Feb. 12, 2014

194 [3]

State Institutional delay

First trial date Feb. 12, 2014

Second trial date May 5, 2014

82

Defendant Waiver of speedy trial

Second trial date May 5, 2014

Third trial date Sept. 16, 2014

134

Defendant Waiver of speedy trial

Third trial date Sept. 16, 2014

Fourth trial date Mar. 2, 2015

167

Defendant Indicated he would change plea; Filed Status Report requesting that a jury not be assembled; Motion for Substitution of Judge

Fourth trial date Mar. 2, 2015

Fifth trial date Apr. 20, 2015

49

State Institutional delay

         The District Court determined that Stewart had not been prejudiced by the delay, and held that Stewart had not been ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.